Hizbullah's Identity Construction
Hizbullah's Identity Construction
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15.6 x 23.4 cm
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Hizbullah's identity construction - 2 Table of Contents - 8 A Note on Transliteration - 12 Acknowledgements - 14 List of Abbreviations - 16 Summary - 18 Introduction and Analytical Framework - 20 1 Tolerance and Discrimination:Ahl Al-Dhimma in the Islamic Order - 34 2 Interpretation and Authority:Wilayat Al-Faqih - 46 3 Political Violence: Terrorismand 9/11 - 62 4 Political Violence: Suicide Operations - 88 5 From Cooptation to Contestation to Political Power - 114 6 The Doha 2008 Accord and its Aftermath - 142 7 The Eighth Conclave: A New Manifesto (November 2009) - 156 8 Epilogue: Future Prospects –Disarmament and the Peace Process - 178 Afterword - 188 Glossary - 192 Additional Reading - 198 Notes - 212 Selected Bibliography - 274 Index - 290

Reviews and Features

"Hizbullah’s identity construction is an intelligent contribution to the academic debate on the dynamics of change in the political identity of Islamist movements; a process which is far from being concluded. Alagha’s reliance on a robust empirical basis and his analysis also of the most recent events make this study a valuable addition to the literature on this subject." -- Filippo Dionigi, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK “Since its birth in the early 1980s, Hizbullah has emerged not only as the preeminent Shia organization in Lebanon and the Arab world, but also as the most effective link in the chain of ‘resistance’ to Israel and pro-Western Arab forces. For an organization that is so outwardly radical, it is extraordinary that it also behaves so pragmatically – joining the Lebanese government, on the one hand, and cultivating close links with militant Lebanese Maronite elements, on the other. Hizbullah then is an enigma, and its ability to successfully navigate the Middle East’s complex power relationships is mystifying. Hence the importance of Joseph Alagha’s new book on Hizbullah, for in this major new study he provides the most comprehensive account of the rise and staying in power of Hizbullah to date. This is a compelling read which demystifies Hizbullah and also the Middle East’s apparently contradictory relationships. A must read.” -- Anoush Ehteshami, Professor of International Relations, Durham University "Joseph Alagha remains one of the most thorough and careful analysts of Hizbullah’s political ideology and practice. Scholars, analysts, and policy makers will find in this work a veritable treasure trove of research and insights into this complex organization." --Michaelle Browers, Associate Professor of Political Science, Wake Forest University, North Carolina, USA. "Alagha offers a comprehensive analysis of a socio-religious movement whose importance both within the larger field of Lebanese political and social life and with regard to continued conflict and the chances for peace in the Middle East cannot be overstated. The book has the potential to become a reference work on Hezbollah and socio-religious movements more broadly across the Middle East." --Professor Armando Salvatore, Sociology Chair, School of Islamic Studies, Oriental Studies University, Naples, Italy "Joseph Alagha’s Hizbullah’s Identity Construction is a fresh perspective on Hezbollah, whose hydra-like nature has perplexed and confounded laymen and scholars alike. Based on an expansive, impressive use of primary and secondary sources, the study offers an in-depth analysis, in theory and practice, on Hezbollah’s construction and reconstruction of its identity unrivalled in its minute details and exposition." -- Robert G. Rabil, Florida Atlantic University, author of Syria, the United States and the war on Terror in the Middle East and Embattled neighbors: Syria, Israel, Lebanon "Alagha offers a nuanced and sophisticated look at how Hizballah's ideology and political tactics have evolved. His work sheds light on an important, but to Western audiences mysterious and opaque, political force in Lebanon."</> -- Daniel L. Byman, professor in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University ŸJoseph Alagha’s latest book is a major contribution to the understanding of Hizballah’s position not only in Lebanon or the Shi‘ite world, but also in world politics. It combines the mastery on Hizballah’s ideology through its major thinkers and its relation to the Shi‘ite intellectual production in Iran and elsewhere. It shows in particular the change within Hizballah’s major political and ideological stances and their flexibility in terms of modernization, opening up the Islamic views to many modern ones, which were once thought as antagonistic to Islam. Alagha displays a rare mastery of ideological and socio-political analysis, combining them in a scholarly view that

Joseph Alagha

Hizbullah's Identity Construction

As the dominant political force in Lebanon and one of the most powerful post-Islamist organizations in the world, Hizbullah is a source of great controversy and uncertainty in the West. Despite the significant attention paid to this group by the media, the details of Hizbullah’s evolution have frequently confounded politicians—and even scholars. In this important study, Joseph Alagha, a scholar with unprecedented access to the organization, exhaustively and objectively analyzes Hizbullah’s historical evolution and offers a revolutionary new perspective on the political phenomenon of the organization.

Hizbullah’s Identity Construction is a timely examination of one of the world’s most turbulent regions; a major contribution to the study of contemporary Islamic political movements in the Middle East; and a refreshing departure from the bland hagiographies and ad hominem attacks that are all too common in studies of Hizbullah’s murky history. Superbly documented and argued, and rooted in broad knowledge of contemporary Islamist political thought, this study brings much-needed clarity to a hot-button subject.

Joseph Alagha

Joseph Alagha is professor in Political Science & Intercultural Studies at Haigazian University, Beirut, Lebanon.